Saturday, September 24, 2011

Indulging Your Inner Glutton

This morning, my car turned into the parking lot of a Good Egg restaurant and a force beyond my control drew me inside and ordered eggs Benedict.

I feel very guilty for succumbing to my inner glutton. However, I remember a radio program I heard not long ago. Recent scientific research indicates that will power is finite. That is, if we are using all our will power on one thing, such as not smoking, then we have very little left to apply to another, such as not eating that quart of Ben and Jerry’s. This makes me feel better.

I'm very health-foodie, but I certainly wasn't raised that way. I'm a Southerner, and, like a friend of mine liked to kid, I was raised on deep fried fat balls rolled in sugar.

I always put quite a bit about food in my books, not necessarily to preserve some of the old ways of cooking, though that is certainly on my mind. I'm really more interested in writing about the old ways of eating. Our forebears’ way of eating had a lot to do with their rigorous way of life.

My grandmother put a ton of sugar in everything. When she made fruit pies, she added so much sugar that the fruit dissolved, so her apple pies were actually applesauce pies. She did this because my grandfather liked things sweet. When he drank iced tea, you could see two finger-widths of undissolved sugar at the bottom of the glass.

He also liked fat. With my own eyes I’ve seen him put butter on his chocolate cake. The sad thing was that my grandfather was nearly 6 feet tall and never weighed over 150 pounds in his life. You could be like that, too, Dear Reader, if you plowed behind a mule for a living. Grandpa came by his love of fat honestly, though. His father buttered radishes and onions before he ate them. My own father had a thing for fat, too - loved an inch of fat on his pork chops. My mother and her mother, on the other hand, wanted their meat lean, dry and burnt. I understand my mother-in-law liked her meat well done, too. My mother speculated that anyone who’s ever had to kill and clean a chicken or a hog wants to make sure it resembles flesh, blood and bone as little as possible. Of course, if you killed and preserved your own meat, eating it well done is a very good idea, bacteria-and-parasite-killingwise.

1 comment:

anthony stemke said...

Dietary habits have changed through the years and people seem to be getting heavier and heavier, even when "dieting".
With all the refined foods and factory chemical additives, it is no wonder.
I remember when people would purchase bacon just because they ran low on bacon drippings but nowadays if you mention lard in the making of pastries, people make a face. But they buy hydrogenated fats in a can and don't even know these ersatz products are so unhealthy.
Progress? I don't think so.

Sh Sh Sh Let the Baby Sleep
Trouble on Earth Day
Author Kathy Stemke (my spouse)